Fresh out of law school in the early ’90’s, Laura Taylor Alridge, ’88, sat down with a lawyer over coffee and, in her opinion, “said all the wrong things you could say in an interview.”
Today, she serves as the president and shareholder of that same man’s bankruptcy firm, Boleman Law.
“I didn’t think the meeting was going well, but then he said, ‘well, maybe we could do something together’ and I said, ‘done.’”
Alridge has been with Boleman Law for over 22 years. In that time, it’s become the largest bankruptcy firm in the state of Virginia. She started out there as an attorney, then was promoted to a shareholder, then vice president, and last fall, she was promoted to president.
Alridge credits her longevity to a number of different factors. She credits her parents for setting a good example of hard work, and Boleman and his wife for their mentorship. She also credits Meredith. “You couldn’t fall through the cracks there,” she said. “Professors actually cared if you showed up or not.”
As an undergraduate, Alridge didn’t foresee herself becoming the powerful woman in law that she is today. She was a history major, but after graduating, decided to enter the paralegal program to gain more skills. After receiving that certificate, she started working in alternative dispute resolution and discovered a love for law and helping others. Her decision to take the next step and pursue law school came not long after she started working in the field.
And once Alridge got into bankruptcy settlement, she never looked back. She recognizes there’s a lot of stigma around her field of law, but at the heart of it is helping families.
“In commercial law, you might be able to save a corporation. But in bankruptcy, I can save a family. And that gives me great job satisfaction,” she said.
Another passion of Alridge’s is supporting women in law. She serves as a founding member and the secretary of the Virginia chapter of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC).
She was also named a member of the 2020 Class of Influential Women of Law by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. “That was an incredible honor,” she said.
Her passion for supporting women stems from her appreciation of attending a women’s college. “I never viewed women as competition, I’ve always viewed them as my sisters – and that’s all thanks to Meredith.” Looking forward, Alridge hopes to continue carrying out Boleman’s vision for Boleman Law, and she feels incredibly humbled that she’s been entrusted with that responsibility.